Intermediate Cup challenge brings out the best in Diss
- Credit: John Bulloch
A superb second-half showing secured Diss their place in the third round draw.
Old Alleynians arrived with the intention of playing open expansive rugby. They stretched Diss from the kick-off and this early pressure led to a penalty in front of the posts.
Diss responded by driving the ball deep into the opposition half and after 15 minutes, following a determined run from Captain Fraser Hall, Warren Wilby broke through the midfield and sent Giles West over for the home side's first try.
Diss now led 5-3 but went behind immediately when the Alleynian full-back secured his second penalty of the afternoon. Diss then failed to deal with an awkward bouncing ball and Old Alleynians scored a converted try wide on the right.
The game continued to swing from one end to the other and following a dominant driving scrummage Jamie Burroughs crashed over. Jack Peacock stepped up to convert and Diss were back in the game.
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As half-time approached Old Alleynians scored a second try to lead 18-12. The wind had proved a decisive factor and Diss now needed to harness this advantage in the second half.
After the break Old Alleynians took advantage of loose Diss passing to set up a third penalty that took them 21-12 ahead with 25 minutes left. A yellow card added to the home team's problems but they were now beginning to assert considerable pressure and the game certainly began to swing with the introduction of Tim Groom to an already dominant pack of forwards.
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Peacock added a further penalty to reduce the score to 15-21 before Ryan Carter, who was outstanding all afternoon, fed Warren Wilby, who broke through and released Fraser Hall to score another try converted by Peacock. Almost immediately, following superb handling skills from Paul Cayley, the forwards and three-quarters combined again to set up a further try for the acrobatic Matt Richards.
Diss were now in total command and following excellent driving play and accurate passing, Matt Trede was released in the Old Alleynians 22 and completely wrong-footed the defensive cover to score a final converted try, for a final score of 34-21 to Diss.
This was without doubt the most accomplished and precise team performance of the season so far from the hosts.